Anne-Marije Rook
The impact of CHASE not paying their fare share of income tax is real: 70 Educators in Seattle were laid off last year.

Ballard teachers join Occupy Seattle

On Saturday, Oct 29, Seattle teachers, University of Washington TA’s, and hundreds of their allies in the Occupy Seattle movement taught Chase bank a lesson about the impact on education funding of their bank not paying taxes in-state mortgage interest income.

The protest was part of a global day of action calling for a 1 percent “Robin Hood Tax” on financial transactions and currency trades.

Chase pays no state taxes on its in-state mortgage interest income because of a loophole was created for WAMU because it was a state bank. When the economy and the housing marketed crashed and bankrupted WAMU, Chase bought out WAMU and has now been “grandfathered” in under these tax breaks intended for state banks. If Chase did pay their fair share of taxes it would add nearly $100 million per year to Washington State’s budget.

"I am participating because I see continued cuts to education and a lack of accountability for corporations that benefit from education. Without schools business do not have a workforce that can work, taxpayers to pay for roads to transport goods on, and workers to deposit money into banks," said Ballard High School teacher India Carlson, who is helping lead the event with fellow BHS teacher Eric Muhs.

"Banks benefit from public education through an educated workforce, and the banks need to pay that benefit forward to the next generation by paying their share of taxes. We are facing even deeper cuts in education in Washington in next 6 months. Protesting the inequity of how business can operate and not pay their fair share is crucial to highlight how we can change things to benefit our state," Carlson continued.

"Will the protest change Chase? Well in the past two days all of the big banks are backing away from debit card fees because people are taking their money out of Chase, BOA, etc. and putting it into credit unions. One aspect of our protest is to encourage people to close their Chase bank accounts. Corporations such as Chase are acutely aware of how perception can impact a company's bottom line, and shaming them is often an effective tactic.

Finally, I protest because I care deeply about my students and their futures. I want a future for my students that includes a job that will allow them to live on their own and raise families without having to struggle under mountains of debt or live with their parents until they are 26. A scenario that is all too common in today's current economic climate."

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